Rifles Hot or Not - Show us yer kit!

Dunno if I'm having a bit of a brain fart here, but please bear with me for a moment.

My ticket's up for renewal next year and, as per ush, I've been working on my wish list which includes a smelly.

So far so good, apart from the price as I rather fancy the earlier Mk's and these are getting to be silly money.

My thought is buying a "sporterised" version with a decent barrel and action as they are cheap as chips at auction (The horror the horror...) and then buying/blagging the original furniture necessary to do a restoration job at some considerable savings to my somewhat limited budget.

Worthwhile project or a hundred miles if bad road - opinions/ideas please gentlemen?
By the time you've found all the bits you need and paid someone to set it up properly, you'll be in silly money territory. Otherwise people would be doing such restaurations already on a commercial basis.
 

4(T)

LE
Dunno if I'm having a bit of a brain fart here, but please bear with me for a moment.

My ticket's up for renewal next year and, as per ush, I've been working on my wish list which includes a smelly.

So far so good, apart from the price as I rather fancy the earlier Mk's and these are getting to be silly money.

My thought is buying a "sporterised" version with a decent barrel and action as they are cheap as chips at auction (The horror the horror...) and then buying/blagging the original furniture necessary to do a restoration job at some considerable savings to my somewhat limited budget.

Worthwhile project or a hundred miles if bad road - opinions/ideas please gentlemen?

This was a viable route up until about five years ago - I used to do a fair amount of rebuilds. At that time, there was a trade gunsmith who had hundreds of No1 forends and new barrels available. Those have all gone now, so we are back to "eBay prices" - which tend to be astronomic.

The de-act market has also hoovered up pretty much everything. Its not even economical to buy a de-act and swap the parts over, as de-acts go for about +50% of the value of a shooting rifle. Caveat Emptor, many de-acts are also thrown together out of scrap parts.

(the de-act situation might change, given that our EU overlords recently imposed new standards that require most legacy de-acts to be re-cut and re-certified at considerable cost. Thousands of owners thus currently have unsaleable relics, and will eventually have to get rid of them).

T
here are new MkIII* forends still floating around - maybe £150-250 on eBay.

Butts - have to buy an antique one on eBay - maybe £30-50. Valid alternative (it was an authorised military substitution) is to use a modified No4 butt.

Handguards - maybe £100, probably for an "earless" butchered set. There were some repros being made, but those, too, have now dried up.

Nosecaps, bands, screws - still plentiful, but ridiculous greed by those selling on eBay.

Magazines - millions made, but still somehow £50 or so.


As for No1 MkIII "with volley sights" parts:

Forends - no chance. Maybe £200+ if a butchered/split/ bent one comes up on eBay. There have been attempts to make repro ones, but these are usually utter gash.

Volley sight parts - ditto. There were some repros around, but the creators have died or moved on.


Its all do-able, but, as with restoring any 100-year old classic item, you may have to spend a lot of £££ and wait years for one or other bit to turn up. E.g. I have about a dozen MkIII barrelled actions, buit the only two volley-sight inletted forends i have both require substantial repair work to make usable - and they are the only two forends to have cropped up in the past six years or so.
 
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Dunno if I'm having a bit of a brain fart here, but please bear with me for a moment.

My ticket's up for renewal next year and, as per ush, I've been working on my wish list which includes a smelly.

So far so good, apart from the price as I rather fancy the earlier Mk's and these are getting to be silly money.

My thought is buying a "sporterised" version with a decent barrel and action as they are cheap as chips at auction (The horror the horror...) and then buying/blagging the original furniture necessary to do a restoration job at some considerable savings to my somewhat limited budget.

Worthwhile project or a hundred miles if bad road - opinions/ideas please gentlemen?
Finding cheap furniture is not easy , see if you can buy that first.
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
This was a viable route up until about five years ago - I used to do a fair amount of rebuilds. At that time, there was a trade gunsmith who had hundreds of No1 forends and new barrels available. Those have all gone now, so we are back to "eBay prices" - which tend to be astronomic.

The de-act market has also hoovered up pretty much everything. Its not even economical to buy a de-act and swap the parts over, as de-acts go for about +50% of the value of a shooting rifle. Caveat Emptor, many de-acts are also thrown together out of scrap parts.

(the de-act situation might change, given that our EU overlords recently imposed new standards that require most legacy de-acts to be re-cut and re-certified at considerable cost. Thousands of owners thus currently have unsaleable relics, and will eventually have to get rid of them).

There are new MkIII* forends still floating around - maybe £150-250 on eBay.

Butts - have to buy an antique one on eBay - maybe £30-50. Valid alternative (it was an authorised military substitution) is to use a modified No4 butt.

Handguards - maybe £100, probably for an "earless" butchered set. There were some repros being made, but those, too, have now dried up.

Nosecaps, bands, screws - still plentiful, but ridiculous greed by those selling on eBay.

Magazines - millions made, but still somehow £50 or so.


As for No1 MkIII "with volley sights" parts:

Forends - no chance. Maybe £200+ if a butchered/split/ bent one comes up on eBay. There have been attempts to make repro ones, but these are usually utter gash.

Volley sight parts - ditto. There were some repros around, but the creators have died or moved on.


Its all do-able, but, as with restoring any 100-year old classic item, you may have to spend a lot of £££ and wait years for one or other bit to turn up. E.g. I have about a dozen MkIII barrelled actions, buit the only two volley-sight inletted forends i have both require substantial repair work to make usable - and they are the only two forends to have cropped up in the past six years or so.
I considered doing the same and after some research came to many of the conclusions listed by @4(T) . Bite the bullet and be prepared to pay up for a decent SMLE is my advice. There are bargains out there in amongst the high cost stuff, but they are few and far between. Sporterized SMLE actions are not worth the trouble, IMHO.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
There are still plenty of decent suitable surplus rifles out there.
A world and a half cheaper than attempting to rebuild something from bits. Millions were made, plenty are almost untouched.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
6.5 Creedmoor and / or 300WM .
not the spud gun then, like to see the rig when its up and running.
Just returned from my feed round, across the valley perched in a tree was a big pest, took a punt without aiming off and the shot only just missed, easily 500 yards. 22-250 Sako 85 with 6x42 S&B. Good on squirrels if expensive.
I could see the field behind where the shot landed, so sodding close, sat on my trailer drawbar with the seat of the quad as a rest, impressing myself with misses.
 
A little something I put together during those rainy days when it got boring. New build AR-10 .308. The scope on it is a Vortex 4-12x44 that I picked up on sale last weekend just to zero and try out a few handloads. I have a Leupold VX-3i LRP 6.5-20x50 winging it's way to me from Oregon direct from the factory.

I bought an adjustable stock for it but I just couldn't along with it and so put the stock you see now on the rifle. It shoots sub MOA at three hundreds yards. Looking forward to shooting it at longer ranges. It's a heavy bugger but then it is for target shooting so weight is not a problem.

.308.JPG
 
My new toy:

View attachment 414572

BSA produced SMLE No1 Mark 3, dated 1915. It's a Bitza rifle, having been found under someone's floorboards, chopped through the barrel in a fit of panic, bought as scrap by an RFD for spares, and then a new barrel and front woodwork fitted. Proofed earlier this year, and I'm taking it down to Hythe ranges on Saturday. :D

The woodwork is pretty shoddy, with no dial sight fitted (or correct pattern stock), no adjustable windage rear sight, and a crack in the upper forestock, but the action is fine and the barrel has had virtually nothing fired through it. Essentially it's exactly what I asked for! Paging @Simmerit , cheers buddy.

And yes, if you looked at the tools board and thought "Cellar dwelling armourer", you'd be right.
Just out of curiosity, what is the brass? disc on the butt, anything important or just a stamped rack number?
 

Mufulira

Old-Salt
No shit, that is a ******* kick to the shins. Ruger long guns tend to be pretty stout, which makes it all the more disappointing. But these issues have to be a whoopsie on them or it was damaged in shipping. That is not a cheap bit of kit either...
Ive been using Ruger No 1 with a very thick barrel in 458 Winchester Magnum and it merely proves the point that if you hit something, anything, with enough force it tends to stay down forever.
 
Just out of curiosity, what is the brass? disc on the butt, anything important or just a stamped rack number?
They were for unit markings, rack numbers etc.
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
Snowflake.

You'da been feckall use at Le Cateau :wink:
Undoubtedly. I managed to hold my water in Ulster, Kuwait, Bosnia, Sierra Leone, and Iraq though ...;)
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
They were for unit markings, rack numbers etc.
And in my case as it’s a new blank, I’m thinking of putting my zap number on it.o_O
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
FORM were talking about running some repro .303 stocks , not sure what model.
I might have some original SMLE woodwork going soon, am debating whether to make the rifle pretty or turn it into a 10" - 16" bbl folding bakkie rifle.
 
Undoubtedly. I managed to hold my water in Ulster, Kuwait, Bosnia, Sierra Leone, and Iraq though ...;)
Pah.

I had 4 years of the No4 in my CCF days. Not a bruising once, not ever.

Mind you, all I learned was how to fire it.

Actually hitting anything wasn't of any particular concern . . .
 
Undoubtedly. I managed to hold my water in Ulster, Kuwait, Bosnia, Sierra Leone, and Iraq though ...;)
Best get your brass polished. Looks like the Middle East is going to kick off again.....
 

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